Massage therapy has been used for many years for relaxation and the treatment of soft tissues throughout the body. Many people experiencing muscle aches and pains get a variety of benefits from massage therapy including decreased pain levels, increased mobility and a greater sense of wellbeing.
But why do we get so many potential benefits from massage therapy? Other than the lengthening of shortened and tight (hypertonic) muscles that everyone experiences as well treating other dysfunctions of muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia, we also get benefits of our “MINE” system. MINE stands for Musculoskeletal system, Immune system, Nervous system and Endocrine system. When there is injury or dysfunction of our musculoskeletal system, our body releases many chemicals and hormones throughout the body that has effects on the “MINE” system. These chemicals include cortisol, cytokines and norepinephrine. Short-term, these chemicals play a role in protection and adaption of our body, including us experiencing pain. But when we reach a build up from stressors in our body, such as long-term pain and discomfort, it is no longer beneficial to our health and well being but actually contributes to a decline in physical and cognitive functioning by working as a vicious feedback cycle.
When we consider the role that our immune system, nervous system and our endocrine system play on the functioning of our body as an interrelated system (and affects conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes), we can start to further realise how beneficial massage therapy is. Other than limiting our exposure to potentially damaging chemicals, massage therapy also releases endorphins and other well being hormones. This is the same hormone that is released in the body when we do exercise, which makes us feel great and helps with minimising pain levels.
After reading this I hope you have realised that everyone can benefit from massage therapy. So if you want to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, improve tissue healing, decrease anxiety and depression and other physical and mental stressors, book in for a massage at your nearest Stay Tuned Sports Medicine Clinic.